Most of us are taught to think rather than feel our way through the world. We may even have been told that ignoring basic needs and physical or emotional discomfort demonstrates how strong we are or how dedicated we are to something more important than ourselves.
I’m suggesting you make a radical transformation. Notice how you feel - both physically and emotionally.
Shift your attention to your body. How do your hips feel as you walk from your kitchen to your living room? How does your shampoo smell when you wash your hair? Which muscles in your body are most relaxed when you lie down in bed at night?
Now add the layer of noticing your emotional experience of sensation. What emotions do you feel when you notice the movement of your hips while walking? What emotions do you feel as you smell the shampoo while showering? What emotions do you feel when you lie down in bed at night and you notice relaxed muscles?
These emotions will likely be different than what you would be feeling if you were walking, showering, or lying in bed while your mind is planning your day, dreading what may happen in a few minutes, worrying about something that happened an hour ago, or criticizing yourself or someone else.
Your experience of each moment can change just by shifting your focus from your thoughts about the past or future or away from judging into being aware of your body and your emotions. Some of what we notice will be pleasant and some will be unpleasant. When we increase awareness of the moment, we have choices in how to be with the experiences rather than ignoring and suffering through the hard parts and missing out of the enjoyable parts.
Ask yourself how you feel, and then notice the answer. This is important information. Now you have choices in what you do with the information. How will you respond? Explore this on your own, and I’ll offer some suggestions in my next post.